The annual, three-day music and art festival, Ashley for the Arts, takes place August 11, 12 and 13 at Memorial Park in Arcadia. Not only does this one-of-a-kind event raise money in support of art programs, schools, and local nonprofits, it also prides itself on providing affordable access to live music, art and fun for the whole family. In 2021, the nonprofit organization made a comeback after a year off and raised over $635,000 for more than 65 participating nonprofit organizations, including 28 local schools.
This August, music and art lovers will gather in the picturesque, 54-acre Memorial Park for a weekend they won’t soon forget thanks to host sponsor, Ashley Furniture Industries. Eight main stage shows will feature multi-genre performances from some of today’s biggest names including Brooks & Dunn, Brantley Gilbert, Train, Cole Swindell, Night Ranger, Philip Philips, Morgan Wade and Danielle Bradbery.
Ashley for the Arts offers an Art & Craft Fair comprised of nearly 100 local artists, an inflatable air park with bounce houses and obstacle courses, and be sure to catch the TimberWork’s Lumberjack Show! The list goes on with a variety of additional off-stage entertainment including a hot air balloon display, a petting zoo, bingo, axe throwing, yard games, street performers, balloon artists, a circus trio variety street show, Painting in the Park with Cheers Pablo, and an interactive art space where you and the kids can try your hand at painting, paper quilling, and more!
The festival also features a talented selection of musical performances on three additional stages, including Richie Yurkovich & Polkarioty, The Executives, Blondie Blue, Allison Mahal, Fly Casual, Wonderstate, Buckwild, Johnny Holm Band, Ecuador Manta, Harlow, The Memories, Last Call, Maddie Poppe, The Mondays and Pan-Handlers. The Amphitheater Stage will be filled with family fun shows including Puppies of Penzance, Old MacDonald Had a Banjo, Dollipops and David Seebach’s Wonders of Magic. Eleven area schools will also hit the Amphitheater Stage throughout the weekend to showcase the region’s student vocal and instrumental talent.
If all that entertainment doesn’t spark interest, the mouth-watering aromas from the rows of food vendors sure will. Fill up on Arcadia’s signature charcoal chicken, grilled in North America’s largest indoor chicken pit, the festival favorite gyro, mini donuts, wood-fired pizza, tacos, delicious barbecue, locally made ice cream, and of course, Wisconsin’s own beer-battered cheese curds!
Thursday evening’s event will get a refresh this year and will again promote Pursuit of a Cure, raising money to advance medical research and help offset medical costs that cancer patients incur. The festival will host their first-ever Glow Run with a glow foam party at the finish line. Glow sticks and neon colors will fill the park alongside performances from Chris Kroeze, Arch Allies and Tuned Up. Additional activities taking place include: Painting in the Park with Cheers Pablo, an inflatable air park, circus street performers, and food vendors. To round out Thursday night, the sky will light up with the iconic fireworks show - which was previously on Saturday night of the event.
Weekend tickets are available online for $25 plus fees at ashleyforthearts.com/tickets; the price increases July 1. Tickets are also available at the gate, August 11-13. Event parking is free and includes free bus shuttles to and from the grounds. Gates open at 4 p.m. on Thursday and 10 a.m. Friday and Saturday. Download the Ashley for the Arts app or visit the website for additional event details.